Cape Town - Kidnapping has increased by a shocking 101% between July and September in this financial year compared to the same period last year.
Police stations across the country recorded 4028 kidnappings during the period, up from the 2000 cases reported last year.
Gauteng recorded half the number of all the reported cases during the second quarter of the financial year.
Briefing the police portfolio committee on crime statistics, Major-General Norman Sekhukhune said the number spiked from 507 to 801 cases that were reported in July alone.
The cases decreased to 661 in August and then to 566 in September.
The statistics showed that Gauteng was leading the pack with 2 104 cases, up from the 796 recorded in the same period last year.
KwaZulu-Natal was second with 785 cases, followed by the Western Cape with 248, Mpumalanga 243, the Eastern Cape 199, the North West 174, Limpopo 124, the Free State 123 and the Northern Cape with 26 cases.
The top 10 stations were Vosloorus, Johannesburg Central, Tembisa, Delmas, Midrand, Mondeor, Westonaria, Mabopane, Boksburg North and Heideberg in Gauteng.
Sekhukune said the SAPS has conducted a sample of 3648 kidnappings to establish the causes of the incidents.
The sample showed that 1408 were related to hijacking. Gauteng reported the most at 1 048, followed by KZN with 153 and Mpumalanga with 83.
There were 331 others involving rape-related crime, 235 that were taxi-related and 218 that were an act of revenge or punishment, as well 125 that were domestic-related.
The report also showed that there were 77 kidnappings linked to a demand for a ransom, 71 involved children removed from parent or guardian without permission, 31 involved extortion, 25 sexual assault, 22 mob justice and 20 human trafficking.
In the instances of extortion and ransom cases, Gauteng recorded the majority with 39 and 19 respectively.
The Western Cape was second with six extortion and eight ransom cases.
Police Minister Bheki Cele noted with concern that kidnappings had doubled nationally between July and September. He said the SAPS, especially in the Western Cape, had several breakthroughs in kidnapping cases, where victims had been safely reunited with their families.
However, the police would be neglecting the constitutional mandate of protecting the country’s inhabitants and their property if the SAPS did not deal decisively with “these most feared crimes”, he said.
“Policing interventions should continue to be prioritised in identified hot-spot areas to squeeze the opportunity for criminals.”
Anti-crime activist Hanif Loonat said: “There are many cases of foreign national kidnappings (in the Western Cape) that go unreported. I, as a crime fighter, find that this is due to cash-in transit-criminals.
Law enforcement and army personnel are in collusion. This makes it a lucrative crime and contributes to its increase.
“It is shocking and embarrassing to see that nothing happens after kidnapping victims get released.
The question is: Why are we not planning a counter-action using these stats?” Loonat asked.
The Cape Flats Safety Forum’s Abie Isaacs said they were concerned about the increase in kidnappings.
“We call on all law enforcement agencies to have a clear plan in dealing with this category of crime.
We call on both military and national intelligence to assist the SAPS,” Isaacs said.